The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that Army Secretary John McHugh is planning significant cuts to the civilian work force, even as the military downsizes the number of active duty soldiers.
Fort Drum has already absorbed about a fifth of the civilian cuts across the Army, said Jeffrey W. Zuhlke, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 400 at the post. But if the Army slashes as many 30,000 civilian slots, as some employees fear, Northern New York could be in trouble, he said.
“If they push for those additional reductions, it’s going to be really painful,” Mr. Zuhlke said.
Meanwhile, the WDT is reporting that Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy is working to make sure Fort Drum isn’t hit by the proposed new round of base closures.
With military spending cuts looming in the next year and the threat of base closures beyond then, Mr. Duffy is visiting with New York lawmakers to discuss how to protect the state’s installations.
Mr. Duffy met with Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, on Tuesday. Meetings were also planned with Rep. Richard L. Hanna. R-Barneveld, and with Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., today.
“We’re very concerned about some of the projected cuts and the impact they would have on New York state,” Mr. Duffy said after meeting with Mr. Owens. “These areas have taken so many hits over the years.”
So what do you think? Are these military cuts necessary and appropriate? A risk to our national security? And what about the North Country economy? Comments welcome.